About Rex

Rex grew up just a short drive away from Yosemite in the Sierra Mountains. So the Sierras and the water that flows from them were his back yard growing up. After catching his first fish (a 10 inch golden trout) on a bamboo fly rod when he was 4 years old, became obsessed with fishing. He became proficient with a Zebco, bait casters and spinning rods but, he always came back to the fly rod. He honed his skills learning to catch the wide variety of trout species that thrive in these Sierra Mountains. The list of favorites soon grew to include all eleven of California’s recognized species of trout and most if not all of the sub species including steelhead. Stripers, bass, bream, carp catfish were also close by and were hunted extensive with the fly rod in between trout trips. Because of proximity and a dad who loved to fish, the fishing destinations spread throughout the west, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, you get the picture.

Rex moved to Santa Barbara, California. There on the South Central Coast he was bitten by the saltwater bug. He has caught record size halibut, white sea bass, corbina, and calico bass on the fly rod. Rex would guide a group of adventure junkies out in float tubes to catch sharks on fly rods (yes, foolish we know) and then drive five hours to the Eastern Sierras to guide and fish trout water.

Rex became friends with Flip Pallot and Lefty Kreh while performing demonstrations of fly casting and working at fishing expos where Flip and Lefty were participating as featured celebrity guests. Lefty mentored him into being a better instructor and caster. Flip offered Rex the experience of building Hell’s Bay Flats boats during the early years of inception, so he moved to Florida and lived with Flip and his wife Diane. It is a good thing he worked at Hell’s Bay Boatworks because as Rex puts it….” The only thing that I really knew about boats before this (working at Hell’s Bay) was you are supposed to stay on top of them!” Rex was a market rep for Temple Fork Outfitters. Rick Pope, owner of TFO has put him on the advisory staff along with Lefty and Flip.

Rex is a Federation Fly Fishers Master Certified Instructor and has implemented new techniques and ideas into teaching casting to others. Lefty Kreh has said, “Rex can teach anyone to cast! I have seen him on his knees with kids and I’ve seen him tweaking the casts of advanced casters to make them better! He himself can cast a loop through a screen door! He’s one of the best!”

Rex has been featured in outdoor magazines and newspaper articles. He was also filmed by the Outdoor Channel, ESPN and FSN South while guiding and doing casting demos.

Captain Rex currently lives in southwest Florida near Boca Grande where he is guiding full time. He thoroughly enjoys sharing the sport along with his knowledge of it! You will never feel uncomfortable while out on a guided trip or standing on land getting a casting lesson. His easy going, wise cracking manner will put you at ease and at the end of the day you will realize that you are a better fisher person than when you stepped on the boat or arrived for your lesson!

Watching Rex Gudgel cast a fly rod is like watching Michael Jordan shoot a free-throw with his eyes closed; he's so good at it and has spent so much time perfecting it that it looks effortless. He's an even better teacher of the art of fly casting, and whether it's casting instruction, guiding or just as a companion on the water, I can't think of a more accomplished or more enjoyable person to have at your side.

David Cannon, Outdoor Writer, Photographer

girl fishing Rex with snook boy fishing